4

votes

Hack me out of this nightmare

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 02, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Every day is a magnificent struggle against the desire to gorge on all manner of junk; peanut butter pancakes, childrens' cereals, etc. The majority of my thoughts are fantasies of ridiculously calorically-dense foods that aren't even appealing beyond their sheer caloric density; pulled pork mixed with cream cheese, raw cookie dough dipped in cream - it's a goddamn nightmare.

I live in constant fear that I'm going to binge, and the prophecy ends ups fulfilling itself once and a while; try as hard as I might to stick to a paleo style of eating, living as a 17 year old with SAD-eating siblings and family members means being constantly surrounded by junk food. And while I know I'm completely in control of my dietary choices, I find myself awake at 5 AM shoveling vanilla ice cream smothered in nutella and almond butter down my gullet and wondering why afterward as I plug away for miles on the basement treadmill, trying somewhat in vain to mitigate even an iota of the damage I've done.

I want desperately to not care about food and just view it as a fuel source, but I'm honestly addicted and it's driving me nuts. Low reward does me no good; the fantasies only become more intense until I cave. Sneaking in treats has always ended in disaster; if I give a little, I take the whole damn lot.

I'm managing to maintain about 130 lbs at 5'9", but at this rate it just doesn't seem sustainable. One can only run so many miles before several blocks of cream cheese mixed with white chocolate chips (I'm so ashamed) catch up to them.

Please God help.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:52 PM

^ the TL;DR version, haha OP feel free to contact me if you need a hand at all

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:32 PM

Do you care to elaborate? What I described is not only "CW" of the Paleo world, but is exemplified by the OP's need to binge on fatty foods (of the wrong type) because he isn't getting healthy fats during his meals, to which he just reported he gets his calories mostly from protein. Case closed in my opinion.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:59 PM

**NO** not tomorrow. Start today. slapslapslap. And don't restrict to 'clean' or 'paleo' foods. Just put a primary focus on foods that are healthy, but do not restrict.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:50 PM

Oh yeah.. you keep mentioning your running. If you are a competitive distance athlete you are going to have to run lighter than the average person (contrary to what everyone says)... but are you competitive? If not, you are probably under-nourishing yourself and overtraining (and it sounds to me like you are). There is a lot more going on "under-the-hood" of those competitive guys in addition to looking anorexic and logging tons of endless miles. You need to supplement all your mileage with good food and good lifitng... let the rest work itself out.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Yep, this is the first time I've decided to eat normally tomorrow. The extra weight ain't worth the stress of restriction, and if I'm eating healthy food instead of shit, it's not like I'll be doing any damage.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Lift weights! It sounds like either you are very out of shape if you think you are "fat" over 130lbs. Either that or you have an eating disorder. Either way, lifting weights will help send your the body the right "ancestral" signals and start getting things going down the right path. The Body by Science approach isn't for everyone but might work here as a quick way to jump in with max returns for time invested.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:45 PM

And get out of a binge restrict cycle. If you overeat, eat normally the next day, consider it a lesson and don't let it happen again.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Also, focus on performance/other interests instead of bodyweight.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:44 PM

the fact this is being upvoted makes me question a lot of peoples' intelligence

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:43 PM

I think eating disorders are very common in people with addictive tendencies, and one of the best ways to treat them is to swap the unhealthy addiction for a healthier addiction. Instead of a focus on bodyweight, focus on performance. +1

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Thanks, your story leaves me very hopeful. :)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Check out EFT (www.eftuniverse.com) It does wonders for clearing fears & emotional distress. No reason for you to have all this food stress.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Yeah, I think after extreme muscle wasting, as is common in people who've lost a ton of weight and who do a lot of cardio (I also used to run about 30 miles/week), leads to bingeing and it can be delayed onset. I never binged before in my life (even when chubby) until I'd maintained crazy-skinny for about 2-3 years. So, I think doing lots of weights and laying off the cardio will help rebuild some of the muscle mass and probably bone density that you've lost. But you're going to have to eat more, run less, and be OK with a little extra fat that'll come, esp. at first.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 02, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Yeah, I've been at home with the family for the holidays and I don't eat my siblings junk. It's not mine. I have my own stash of expensive chocolate.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:13 PM

I agree with you totally, except that he's 17 and lives with siblings/family, and probably doesn't have the option of trashing everyone else's foods and replacing it with truffle butter. However, I think you're spot on and it's definitely something to keep in mind (if you're craving ice cream, leave it in the fridge, walk to the store, and buy something better/complex/fancy-as-all-crap).

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:10 PM

WTF could you possibly be talking about? And how is this in any way helpful?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Did you start out with LC Paleo? U seem to be craving sugar and carby foods. I don't think nutrient density nor micronutrient deficiency is an issue. Cut the carbs down to about 50g and see what happens. Higher carb Paleo can start later after you've controlled your cravings. You haven't yet.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:51 PM

Low carb is not for me, man, I love to run for miles on end and it helps immensely to keep my glucose topped off. Never tried L-Glutamine, though.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:42 PM

U should try low-carb Paleo. Have you tried L-Glutamine several times a day?

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Care to elaborate? What exactly am I supposed to derive from this?

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:14 PM

~35 miles. I love it, but to be honest it does sometimes stress me out because I feel "obligated" to do it - like, I don't get to eat if I don't clock the requisite mileage beforehand.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:43 PM

I guess I'm just worried that my set point is overweight, and that if I eat intuitively I'll balloon and undo everything I've worked so hard to achieve. I like having a body capable of running 11 miles on the fly. I like being able to fit into small shirts comfortably. What I hate is fighting this brutal mental battle every friggin' day.

4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:39 PM

You mentioned running, Matthius, do you do a lot of it? That would run counter to establishing satiety and gaining muscle mass. Are you doing any weight training? @ Krisha, heck yeah, you can climb mountains, run fast, compete at oly-lifting and power lifting competitions with big muscles, among other things, you can actually "do" much with skinny hips.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:24 PM

That was my concern XD. I mean, my ribs are visible...and while I'm thin, I have virtually no muscle mass. I guess a cost-benefit analysis is in order.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I eat plenty of quality carbs - upwards of 200g a day from plantains, potatoes, etc. But these blips are really throwing me for a loop. It'll be potatoes one day, donuts the next. And the latter always makes gives me unbelievable GI distress.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:22 PM

I eat 3200 calories consistently, but a few months ago it was more like 4000-2000-5000-1000 (etc.) for at least 40 days, which really screwed with me psychologically. I had to restrict my intake for a long-ass time back in 2010 when I lost all the weight, but back then I didn't have any bingeing issues.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:03 PM

Totally agreed, Molly. Of the 15 lbs I gained at least a third of it was muscle and it does feel really good to feel stronger again. It also helps with crazy body image issues: isn't being able to lift heavy things at least equivalently good to being able to fit into child-sized clothing? Yes, yes it is.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:44 PM

I thought the same thing, Britt. My husband (age 37) is 130 pounds at 5'6. He's pretty lean, but leaner at about 125. If we added 5 lbs per inch, that would put Matthius at at least 140 lbs to be still pretty skinny.

4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Here here! I would add: Choose performance goals over body-composition goals. In my experience they are more attainable, and do less harm to your ego.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:34 PM

just saw you wrote that you used to obese and have a fear of weight gain... I think you must have lost weight either restricting too much calories or ending up at a weight too low for your body. Either will throw your body into a binge cycle. I'm afraid I don't have much specific advice for this, besides feed your body well and plenty. Perhaps try and gain a bit of weight if you can.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:27 PM

I do tend to force myself to eat a preposterously large amount of protein, rarely falling below 300g/day. I'm pathologically afraid of gaining weight because of a history of borderline obesity - the worst part being I was the odd one out in my entire extended family, the lone chubby kid in a sea of athletes.

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16 Answers

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10
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I've seen you post many times, you obviously have a eating disorder. 130lbs at 5'9" is pretty skinny and you have absolutely zero reasons to be fearful of gaining weight. Your obviously hungry because your starving yourself. Get some help, eat some food, stop stressing on gaining weight.

In the long run its gonna be a lot healthier if you just chill out and eat without the stress, being overweight is a lot healthier than stressing out about eating.

You say you eat 3200 cals consistently but the majority of it is protein(at least thats what it was last time you posted). Eat 3200 cals of real food(meat, potatoes, fruit, milk etc.) if your still hungry eat more, simple.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:43 PM

I guess I'm just worried that my set point is overweight, and that if I eat intuitively I'll balloon and undo everything I've worked so hard to achieve. I like having a body capable of running 11 miles on the fly. I like being able to fit into small shirts comfortably. What I hate is fighting this brutal mental battle every friggin' day.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Check out EFT (www.eftuniverse.com) It does wonders for clearing fears & emotional distress. No reason for you to have all this food stress.

8
724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

on January 02, 2012
at 01:29 PM

Hi Matthius,

I answered one of your previous posts about healthy eating, and I recall you saying that your doctor was begging you to gain weight, and that you had previously been much heavier.

130 for a 5'9" guy is, honestly, really light.

I"ve been where you are, on the crazy binge cycle where really you're just eating disgusting food, you have no idea what it tastes like, literally dreaming about food, all of it. I have a lot of theories about why it happened to me and what made it stop (I was a vegetarian, I stopped; I was IF-ing, I stopped, etc.), but one of the ones that I like the least, but seems the most likely is that for people who've lost a lot of weight, there is just a weight below which your body won't let you go.

I don't know how to describe it, but I have also literally had the dream of eating cookie dough covered in nutella dipped in peanut butter, and I literally do not even like sweet foods. The only explanation is its caloric content (and, for me, protein/fat). I was also at a really really low BMI. I had also previously been rather cherubic. And when I gained back just about 15 lbs, (plus eating meat/fat, taking vitamins, eating breakfast) I stopped.

I'm not thrilled about the 15lbs, I really want to lose it again, even though it's only 15 lbs it's done a number on my self esteem, but this is why I'm writing in answer to your post. I think I can be not-chubby for the rest of my life. But I don't know if this formerly chubby girl can ever sustain a model-thin physique without literally obsessing about food and using inhuman restraint to not end up in the fridge at 4 am eating disgusting food. I could do it before, when I was single, by literally not keeping any food in my house at all. Now that I"m married, no dice. I also don't have the emotional space available anymore, because I can't have a complete crying meltdown in frustration about how hungry I am and also what horrid crap I want to eat all the time. I just don't have time for it anymore.

So, maybe you just eat paleo, but eat more paleo. Do it until you gain back just a smidge of that weight. Do it while also doing all the other things that people on this site wisely advise (eat breakfast, don't IF, don't go too low on the carbs, don't eat sugar/fruit on an empty stomach, make sure you're hitting your protein requirements for the day, lay off the intense cardio for a while, etc.). If I figure out a way to fit back into my double zero jeans without it destroying my life, I"ll let you know. In the meantime, I think you and I can both accept ourselves at a slightly higher and probably much healthier weight.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:03 PM

Totally agreed, Molly. Of the 15 lbs I gained at least a third of it was muscle and it does feel really good to feel stronger again. It also helps with crazy body image issues: isn't being able to lift heavy things at least equivalently good to being able to fit into child-sized clothing? Yes, yes it is.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:14 PM

~35 miles. I love it, but to be honest it does sometimes stress me out because I feel "obligated" to do it - like, I don't get to eat if I don't clock the requisite mileage beforehand.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:24 PM

That was my concern XD. I mean, my ribs are visible...and while I'm thin, I have virtually no muscle mass. I guess a cost-benefit analysis is in order.

4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Here here! I would add: Choose performance goals over body-composition goals. In my experience they are more attainable, and do less harm to your ego.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Yeah, I think after extreme muscle wasting, as is common in people who've lost a ton of weight and who do a lot of cardio (I also used to run about 30 miles/week), leads to bingeing and it can be delayed onset. I never binged before in my life (even when chubby) until I'd maintained crazy-skinny for about 2-3 years. So, I think doing lots of weights and laying off the cardio will help rebuild some of the muscle mass and probably bone density that you've lost. But you're going to have to eat more, run less, and be OK with a little extra fat that'll come, esp. at first.

4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:39 PM

You mentioned running, Matthius, do you do a lot of it? That would run counter to establishing satiety and gaining muscle mass. Are you doing any weight training? @ Krisha, heck yeah, you can climb mountains, run fast, compete at oly-lifting and power lifting competitions with big muscles, among other things, you can actually "do" much with skinny hips.

3
E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:20 PM

I was in a similar situation at your age. I was 6'1", ~135lbs with bulimia. I'm also male.

Now I'm 20, 185lbs and gaining, and have a much healthier mental state and relationship with food. I used to run endless miles too, and obsess over body shape. What fixed everything for me was lifting weights. I began with a strength training routine, which emphasizes weight or rep increases every session.

If I binged/purged the night before I lifted, I wouldn't make any progress. That observation, plus focusing on numbers > my body shape helped steer me towards healthier habits, and I dropped the eating disorder.

Ironically, losing my obsession over my body's shape and focusing on eating to fuel activity has me looking 1000x better than I did than when I was an insecure skeletor. It did take some time to get over my illness, which explains the relatively low gain in bodyweight.

I've since switched to bodybuilding, and am probably chilling around 12% BF, so don't think I don't still care about how I look - it just isn't my obsessive focus, namsayin?

Maybe some similar path will help you regain some of your sanity and health. Good luck

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Thanks, your story leaves me very hopeful. :)

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:52 PM

^ the TL;DR version, haha OP feel free to contact me if you need a hand at all

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:43 PM

I think eating disorders are very common in people with addictive tendencies, and one of the best ways to treat them is to swap the unhealthy addiction for a healthier addiction. Instead of a focus on bodyweight, focus on performance. +1

3
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:17 PM

All that food you're daydreaming about? Look for trends and see what you're missing. If you're daydreaming about fatty carby foods, then it's a good sign that your body wants more carbs and fats. Get it from good food sources (like lard/tallow and sweet potatoes) so you don't binge on junk food. Increase percentage of calories from fat and/or carbs slowly until you find the cravings go away, and if they don't go away, then maybe it's something else, or your body is simply just craving calories.

I think another missing component for you is messed up leptin from the calorie restriction/weight loss. That would explain the craving for caloric food, too (so maybe it's not just a macronutrient thing). Have you tried the leptin reset? It doesn't seem too popular here on paleohacks, but some people have had a good experience with it (especially over at Mark's Daily Apple). It has made a big difference for me: I used to always be hungry, now I can go hours without thinking about food.

Good luck and hang in there!

3
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on January 02, 2012
at 01:44 PM

FATS!!! It appears your body is craving fats. Are you getting enough fat in your diet? These diets need to be high in fat as well, high in saturated and monounsaturated. Don't be afraid of the fats, they are highly good for you and won't make you fat. Get at least 50% of calories from fat.

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:32 PM

Do you care to elaborate? What I described is not only "CW" of the Paleo world, but is exemplified by the OP's need to binge on fatty foods (of the wrong type) because he isn't getting healthy fats during his meals, to which he just reported he gets his calories mostly from protein. Case closed in my opinion.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:44 PM

the fact this is being upvoted makes me question a lot of peoples' intelligence

3
6bc8f0aaa00c51bb1226d7d0816d3345

(40)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Ive recently read that by following a paleo diet and consuming vast amounts of protein your body will crave carbs as a way of balancing the ratio of carbs to protein eaten. Maybe if you tried eating more nutrient dense carbs, such as sweet potatoes, you will crave things like peanut butter pancakes (yum!!) less. Also, your 5'9 and 130 male? Have you ever thought that you might be a bit under weight? I'm certainly not an expert either, but id try eating more and i think you might binge less frequently.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:44 PM

I thought the same thing, Britt. My husband (age 37) is 130 pounds at 5'6. He's pretty lean, but leaner at about 125. If we added 5 lbs per inch, that would put Matthius at at least 140 lbs to be still pretty skinny.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:27 PM

I do tend to force myself to eat a preposterously large amount of protein, rarely falling below 300g/day. I'm pathologically afraid of gaining weight because of a history of borderline obesity - the worst part being I was the odd one out in my entire extended family, the lone chubby kid in a sea of athletes.

2
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I used to be anorexic, and the only way I can steer clear of that whole danger zone is by NOT COUNTING calories and grams of fat, protein, and carbs. Seriously. By now, you know what your food should look like on your plate, and you can get all you need by eyeballing your food and using your head. Paleo man did not count calories!! And some days, he probably got more fat, some days more carbs, etc.
I also totally agree that your body may be below it's most healthy weight. I think that's why you're having the food fantasies. Your body wants to put on some weight! Why not try to relax about it, eat healthily, and let your body gain a few pounds. You will still be able to run and look awesome in your clothes! And life is SO much more enjoyable when you aren't obsessing about everything you put in your mouth. It's not worth it. Get your personality and your life back and enjoy the short time you have on the planet.

2
28f280f8d64c7207fd94d158fbe6e070

(218)

on January 02, 2012
at 12:58 PM

I'm no expert and I am still working this out myself but this last week I've done a little experimenting and I found that if I've gone less than 20 g carbs all day, at night my body will gorge on carbs like nuts or gluten free cookies without me being able to stop it, and without me enjoying them.

However, when I add some healthy carbs to each meal, breakfast and dinner, I can control my eating in the evening. Like with my omelette I will ave a smoothie with a little frozen berries, and after my meaty dinner I might have a bit of 85% chocolate. I end up eating over 60g carbs this way, but in the evening at least I can decide what my snack will be, limit its quantity, and enjoy every bite.

1
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on January 02, 2012
at 04:41 PM

I'm really sorry to hear this... What you have sounds like exercise bulimia.

I know it's going to be hard, but I'd really recommend:

  1. not counting calories
  2. not restricting any foods
  3. not exercising to make up for binges
  4. tone back the training a bit
  5. spend 10-30 seconds each day just breathing slowly and clearing your mind. think about it like training your 'keep calm' muscles.

I was in a similar position to you a year or so ago. 130lbs 5'9" competitive cyclist. I loved how fast I was... but all I thought about was food. After an injury forced me to stop I've since gone to 150 lbs which is much more sustainable. My girlfriend at the time couldn't see much of a difference, and she was a bitch so she wouldn't lie to me to make me feel good.

Being overweight is better than having a horrible relationship with food. You will probably have to add a bit of weight to get over this, but then we can talk about adding muscle and working it off in a nice slow fashion.

Here are some pros to maybe motivate you:

  1. I am no longer hungry all the time
  2. My libido has become mega-enhanced
  3. I am now the strong, athletic guy in the group, not only the very fast runner/cyclist.
  4. I can focus on other interests I've had outside of nutrition/sports.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Also, focus on performance/other interests instead of bodyweight.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:59 PM

**NO** not tomorrow. Start today. slapslapslap. And don't restrict to 'clean' or 'paleo' foods. Just put a primary focus on foods that are healthy, but do not restrict.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Yep, this is the first time I've decided to eat normally tomorrow. The extra weight ain't worth the stress of restriction, and if I'm eating healthy food instead of shit, it's not like I'll be doing any damage.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:45 PM

And get out of a binge restrict cycle. If you overeat, eat normally the next day, consider it a lesson and don't let it happen again.

1
8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:31 PM

Did you by any chance lose weight or restrict your intake previously? I may be wrong, but that's the impression I get especially as you are at a lower healthy weight for your height. This binging must be a relatively new thing for you, so the desire must have come from somewhere. If it's not a new thing then is it possible you are in a binge/restrict cycle where you eat too little when you are not binging?

If that is the case and you have been restricting too much previously, you might have to let your body take it's course as it's craving calories. Is it possible to try and stick to, say, a grain-free diet, but allow yourself unlimited amounts of everything else for now? Not allowing yourself many things can just make this worse.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:22 PM

I eat 3200 calories consistently, but a few months ago it was more like 4000-2000-5000-1000 (etc.) for at least 40 days, which really screwed with me psychologically. I had to restrict my intake for a long-ass time back in 2010 when I lost all the weight, but back then I didn't have any bingeing issues.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:34 PM

just saw you wrote that you used to obese and have a fear of weight gain... I think you must have lost weight either restricting too much calories or ending up at a weight too low for your body. Either will throw your body into a binge cycle. I'm afraid I don't have much specific advice for this, besides feed your body well and plenty. Perhaps try and gain a bit of weight if you can.

1
4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on January 02, 2012
at 01:31 PM

Having been there, I'd be willing to bet you're not getting quite enough calories through your usual diet (and 130 sounds pretty lean for your height as it is). I'm also wondering how your diet looks, especially considering you live with your family. For me, even a dusting of flour on my chicken (which is what I get when I go home) throws me for a loop.

Here's what I've observed with myself:

  • I do better limiting carbs and keeping my protein really high, especially in the morning. I have friends who burn calories so quickly they do better with root veggies and a little milk

  • Cheating begets cheating, so I crave SAD food for up to two weeks after I cheat.

  • I have more cravings when I'm stressed or not getting enough sleep.

Knowing this, here's my approach when I fear I might be slipping (or have slipped already):

Its a really bad time for any kind of weigh/measure or portion control for me, because it is guaranteed to lead to a box of cheap cookies with blue frosting, or a can of coconut milk + a jar of almond butter, depending on the day. So I keep LOTS of good, tasty, and healthy food prepared in the fridge (cooked chicken, veggies cut and ready to eat, hard boiled eggs, tomato sauce loaded with meat and veg, avocados...) I eat a little more than I think I need at meals, especially earlier in the day. And I make sure to get a good night's sleep, even if it means I miss a workout. I also make sure my meals are complete and nicely composed (I like Mark Sisson's cookbooks for this) as opposed to say, unseasoned chicken and microwaved spinach. This is easy for me as I live alone and have a great kitchen, not sure how this works with your family.

As I see it, its better to eat a little extra chicken than gorge on a pound of velveeta and then deal with the stress around it. Also, I do not correct/punish my slip-ups with long workouts, intense fasts and the like. It just leads to more stress, and to more crazy eating. I do better just waking up the next day and starting over as usual.

Finally, if you're low-carb (you don't say), its important to get plenty of fat to total out your calories, some people have a hard time with that. Just a thought.

Most importantly, don't be too hard on yourself, everyone slips up sometimes, and its really just a small blip on the chart over the long haul.

Good Luck!

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I eat plenty of quality carbs - upwards of 200g a day from plantains, potatoes, etc. But these blips are really throwing me for a loop. It'll be potatoes one day, donuts the next. And the latter always makes gives me unbelievable GI distress.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 02, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Start with a great breakfast 3-4 eggs and some butter. Continue with Lunch and dinner. By eating big regular meals it will help with hunger. Select one food item such as vanilla ice cream to eat when you get the urge to eat something sweet.

0
Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Here's the worst part, and a source of immense cognitive dissonance: despite eating like 250g of sugar and bullshit this morning, I feel fucking great right now; light as air.

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I have a history of binge eating and can relate to everything you said. Because of my own experiences, I can hear you judging yourself and worrying that you're blowing it. You feel like a ticking time bomb.

The thing is, as you said yourself, that kind of thinking is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Anxiety always affects appetite--it either kicks it into high gear or kills it. In my case, it usually kicks it up, so I have to work to find laughter and serenity. Laughter is easy and natural for me but serenity is not. What makes you laugh? When have you felt most relaxed and calm, and what caused you to feel that way? Have there been times, minutes or hours, when you were on a more even level? What was going on then?

You see, many people think there's a mix of foods to eat when you have cravings but the problem is that cravings are not always connected to needing food or a type of food. It's about emotions.

You're doing a good thing in trying to distract yourself with physical activity, but if that's not working by itself you need to consider the emotional side. If you are judging and scolding yourself that is going to make it harder to relax.

It may be that the intensity of your physical "punishments" is too high. How about walking around the mall and watching the other people? Going to a sporting event? Even playing online games? If there's a children's hospital or rehab center or youth center in your area maybe you could visit or do a little volunteer activity.

Your mind and emotions are over-loaded. It's time to give yourself a break and look for ways to enjoy yourself that don't involve eating. Fun is not spelled "food."

Above all else, don't lose hope. You are thinking and you are working and if you turn that focus to relaxation and enjoyment of your physical activities you can ease some of the pressure on yourself and achieve what you want.

I wish you well.

0
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 02, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Wait? Why is that stuff in your house for you to eat at night? Don't buy it, so it's not there. Being thin like me, you are the ideal audience for a lot of the paleo treats that get a bad reputation. Duck rillettes on rice/flax/or kale crackers, bittersweet chocolate, pates, expensive coconut chocolate truffles. Think expensive with complex rich flavors. Stop eating trash, you are too good for it. Low reward doesn't work for me either. Pate with truffles gives me reward AND fills me up.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:13 PM

I agree with you totally, except that he's 17 and lives with siblings/family, and probably doesn't have the option of trashing everyone else's foods and replacing it with truffle butter. However, I think you're spot on and it's definitely something to keep in mind (if you're craving ice cream, leave it in the fridge, walk to the store, and buy something better/complex/fancy-as-all-crap).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 02, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Yeah, I've been at home with the family for the holidays and I don't eat my siblings junk. It's not mine. I have my own stash of expensive chocolate.

-2
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 02, 2012
at 02:34 PM

you are what you eat and it shows.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 02, 2012
at 04:10 PM

WTF could you possibly be talking about? And how is this in any way helpful?

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 02, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Care to elaborate? What exactly am I supposed to derive from this?

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